NHTSA Study Shows Greater Fatalities Among Elderly, City Dwellers
2010 was not a good year to be a pedestrian. Fatal contact between walkers and vehicles rose that year according to a new study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The study shows that pedestrian deaths were steady between 2002 through 2007. That figure rose to 13 percent in 2010. The elderly, which are defined as those 65 years or older, account for 19 percent of deaths in such accidents and have the highest fatality rate among age groups. Following them that year are the young (ages 5 through 9 years of age) and young teens (15 years or younger). Many of these accidents involving pedestrians occurred in urban environments. Fatalities involving vehicles and pedestrians rose from 72 percent in 2009 to 73 percent in 2010. Deaths at non-intersections (e.g., jay-walking) rose from 75 percent to 79 percent in that time period as well. Not surprisingly, most occurred in the evening (68 percent). Says David Strickland, NHTSA Administrator, "Most people are pedestrians at some point in their day — that's why we're reminding the public to take precautions and use crosswalks or intersections whenever possible and wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross the street. Drivers should pay attention behind the wheel, especially in hard-to-see conditions and at night." Automotive.com's take: Forget the advice, "walk everywhere. It's good for your health." Instead, drive everywhere. It could save your life. Source: Detroit News
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